Sharks celebrate after bruising final

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Shaw Cross Sharks32

Dewsbury Celtic16

SHAW Cross Sharks celebrated winning the Heavy Woollen ARL Jim Brown Cup, following victory over Dewsbury Celtic in a bruising clash at Batley Bulldogs last Thursday.

The final certainly wasn’t for the faint hearted and the Sharks ended the game with only one fit substitute following injuries to three players.

Prop Danny Annakin suffered a suspected broken forearm, sustained in the opening 10 minutes.

Substitute Adam Brummitt was unable to play a big part after dislocating his left arm soon after coming on, while Luke Hudson was taken to hospital for to a nasty gash to a leg.

Cross fully deserved to win but Celtic played their part in a nip and tuck game which was in doubt until Thomas Stuckley’s clinching try four minutes from full-time.

Both sides had early tries ruled out as Andrew Tillotson sent Andrew Fawkes through a gap to score for the Sharks only for play to be pulled back for a forward pass.

At the other end, impressive Celtic full-back Niki Crabtree stretched for the line between the posts only to knock on in the act of scoring.

The Sharks took a grip on the game with two tries in the space of four minutes.

Ryan Glynn jinked his way over for the game’s opening try and from their next attack, Matty Myers stormed through a huge gap to score behind the posts and Sean Squires converted.

Celtic responded in style as former Shark Pat Foulstone made a terrific break up the right touchline and slipped a lovely pass inside for Danny Thomas to score. Niki Crabtree converted to make it 10-6.

However, Shaw Cross took full advantage of the slope in the final 10 minutes of the first half to score two further tries and take a stranglehold on the game.

Squires and John Rourke were both held close before Fawkes stepped out of a tackle and over for the try. Squires added a superb goal from wide out.

Hudson then made a storming run downfield and Tillotson threw a long pass out for winger Paul Adams to gather and race in at the corner.

Celtic trailed 20-6 at half-time but with the slope in their favour knew the game was far from over.

They introduced powerful forward Danny Lee and Adam Egan at half-time and the pair drove Celtic on.

The Sharks managed to extend their lead when Tillotson sent Glynn over for his second try wide on the left.

Celtic hit back when Jordan Lyons gathered an inside pass to score, with Niki Crabtree’s excellent conversion from wide out reducing the arrears to 24-12.

Fawkes added his second try for the Sharks but the end-to-end game continued when Danny Crabtree stretched over to plant the ball down and bring Celtic to within two converted tries.

With Cross desperately low on numbers and both Myers and the hard-working Mike Stewart exhausted, Celtic piled on the pressure but the Sharks defence remained solid.

Having weathered the storm, Cross sealed a memorable win when Stuckley scored wide on the right.

Bulldogs coach John Kear presented MoM and Sharks captain John Rourke with the Jim Brown Cup to spark celebrations which went on long into the night at one of the club’s sponsors The Crown pub, on Leeds Road.

Shaw Cross Sharks: Glynn; Adams, Squires, Flowers, Smith; Diskin, Tillotson; Myers, Hadfield, Annakin, Fawkes, Stewart, Rourke. Subs: Stuckley, Hudson, Brummitt, Jones.

Dewsbury Celtic: N Crabtree; Dunford, D Crabtree, P Foulstone, M Foulstone; Thomas, West; Muranka, Perks, Smith, Edwards, Adleigh, Byrne. Subs: Buckley, Lee, Egan, Lyons.